Saw my consultant this morning and it’s great news! No evidence of dissection in the head or neck, or of TIA. So after weeks of worrying myself sick, I can get back to normal.
I know not everything is fixed as my heart is not right, but this is such a huge deal for me that I feel like I can make a new start.
One thing stuck on my mind through all this. Janet Street Porter was on TV and was saying ‘If I don’t like doing something, I stop doing it immediately’. I thought to myself, blimmin’ heck, she’s right. If I’m not finding joy in something and I don’t have to do it any more then just stop!
This has led me to ditch a number of things that were just not working for me any more and now I have the all clear, then I am going to focus on what I really enjoy.
The things bringing me joy at the moment are blogging, travel, gardening and being creative with crafts. So for now, that’s where I’m putting my focus. I’m planning to go back to badminton, Pilates and yoga too.
One good thing to come out of all this is that I’ve significantly increased the amount of walking I’ve been doing because it was the only exercise I was allowed to do. I’m loving getting down the country lanes and will build on this.
I’ve also reviewed my diet and in a bid to be as healthy as possible, have made a few more positive tweaks, so again, this is something I can build on. You may have noticed I’d stopped whingeing about being fat – that’s because I had bigger things to worry about – so I should try and keep that mind set that food is fuel and also medicine.
So, onwards and upwards! Where’s that travel brochure……..
Hello fellow Scadsters!
A couple of weeks ago, Becks Breslin, a pioneer of the UK beatSCAD charity, asked me to provide an update on what life is like five years post SCAD.
The beatSCAD website has lots of useful information for those newly diagnosed with this scary and bewildering condition. I really wish it had been around five years ago when every cough, sneeze, ache or pain threw me into panic mode thinking I would have another dissection.
Anyway, still alive and kicking, this is the update I provided for the website:
I’m now over five years post SCAD, just coming up to 55 and the happiest I have ever been in my life. So what’s changed?
- I got healthy through eating well and exercising moderately (gardening, yoga, walking, badminton)
- I chucked my stressful job and now write a 50 plus lifestyle blog over at https://flowerpowerlife.wordpress.com/
- I re-joined my choir (Chester Ladies) and will become chairman next month. We are a registered charity and I will be doing lots of public speaking (as well as singing of course!).
- My strategy for the future is ‘always have the next holiday booked’ so you have to be there for it!
- I travel extensively, although on a budget. The picture is of me on the Brooklyn Bridge during a recent girls only trip to NYC!
- I don’t have much cash any more, but I spend on experiences, not things, which are no longer important.
- I’ve embraced charity shops!
- I am no longer scared of lifts (the worst already happened and I survived)
- I no longer get panic attacks (ditto)
- I still get premature atrial contractions, days when I’m exhausted, and days when my heart seems to play up all day, but I have faith that it will pass, so I don’t dwell on it. I take my medication and hope for the best.
So what does the future hold? Well, I’m thinking I may reach menopause this year (it’s now seven months since my last period) with the hope that my PACS will go away, or at least improve. I’m waiting for my referral to Dr Adlam to come through so that I can perhaps ditch some of this medication. I want to travel more, blog more, experience more, do more and just have fun. I’m saying ‘yes’ to everything I can!
If you had offered me beetroot juice this time last year I’d have turned my nose up. Despite its immaculate credentials, I just couldn’t see beetroot in a drink. Well, today I’ve proved myself wrong with this juice which was blimmin’ lovely.
I juiced one beetroot (skin and all), a stick of celery with the frilly bit intact, a Braeburn apple and a conference pear.
This one is ridiculously good for your heart health and blood pressure.
I’m getting braver all the time with juicing, and reading lots of lovely blogs for ideas. Anyone got a favourite to recommend?
Well it’s arrived! My damascene moment, the straw that broke the camel’s back, the wake up call I’ve been waiting for! I’ve admitted to myself that I’m not going to lose weight and get fit by:
1. wishing it
2. asking the universe
3. reading about it
4. ignoring it
I actually have to do something about it! Furthermore I need professional help so I’ve called in Helen Conway from Kick Start Fat Loss at Bodywork Pilates.
So what pre-empted this decision? Well, it was a size 14 shift dress from M&S. Lovely linen with a jewelled neckline. I bought it with a view to wearing it to a hen party this weekend. But shock horror! When I got it home, it zipped up alright, but I look tubbier than a tubby thing in it (even with my big knickers on)!
So, before we start, let me give you my excuses so far:
- Can’t exercise too hard because of my heart
- I don’t look too bad
- I need to eat to keep my blood sugar stable otherwise I get palpitations
I know these don’t wash and that there are ways around this. Yes, my running progress was aborted because of palpitations, but was that really the cause or just a convenient get out clause. Yes, I do need to keep my blood sugar stable, but eating clean will do just that. And finally I can’t keep pretending that it’s OK to carry a bit of weight, because it absolutely isn’t and for my heart health, losing weight is the very best thing I can do!
So bring it on!